Thursday, November 02, 2006

Frank Rich: Tremendous Sense of Frustration

Eat The Press Frank Rich
The Huffington Post

"What I've found everywhere else — whether in Seattle or Kansas City, though Houston is yet to come — is a tremendous sense of frustration at having been misled and lied to about the Iraq war, an appetite for harder-hitting media that can be trusted, and concern about whether the Democrats will be any better at leading the country out of the morass.

"Three big issues, and he nails them. There can be no doubt that

the spin is off the Iraq war — see the desperation pervading these final days as the attacks on the left (or perceived left) are carried out willy-nilly — but it is also clear that the Democrats are basically running on a campaign of backlash. As for the media, Rich makes an important point about how the news was filtered in the run-up to war:

We now know that Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of the Knight-Ridder Washington bureau — now McClatchy newspapers — were on to the story ahead of most others. We also know that there were reporters at the Washington Post and the New York Times who were on to the story, but whose stuff was unfortunately downplayed, compared to the big-footing journalists who got it wrong on page one. There were people like [Walter] Pincus and [James] Risen and others who were on to it but went unnoticed.

"And, for the people who continue to pooh-pooh the real work behind the Daily Show: '[Jon Stewart] was the first person to do what television news should have been doing, which is go to the video clips and see what they said two months ago' [see also]. As for his colleagues in the TV news biz: 'I think there's nothing to be said for television news at all.' Yikes. (Though Rich does note that, now that the tide has turned against the administration, everyone is on the bandwagon, which is good.)

"Rich has some thoughts on the liberal hawks who supported the war way back when: 'The only one who, in my view, successfully fessed up to it and did the reporting to redeem himself is George PackerThe Assassin's Gate' (not, as Rich has noted, Peter Beinart). On Bob Woodward: 'State of Denial fills in some very interesting details on a story that Bob Woodward seems to be among the last of major journalists to figure out.' Oh, zing.

"It's a very interesting interview and available here — worth a read just for the reminder about what that famous quote about ignoring "the reality-based community" really meant (hint: It meant plotting to sell the Iraq war, 'like Cheerios'). Worth remembering."

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